Example defends 'hustler' Ed Sheeran over 1Xtra criticism

"People need to use their words carefully when they announce these lists," says Example

Emilie Bailey/NME
Photo:Emilie Bailey/NME
Example has stepped in to defend Ed Sheeran after he was placed at the top of BBC Radio 1Xtra's Power List last week.

Sheeran was selected by a panel of industry experts assembled by the UK's leading black music station as "the most important UK artist in the scene". In addition to Sheeran, both Sam Smith and Disclosure also earned high placings in the list. This led to dissent from some sections of the UK music scene, most notably grime MC Wiley, who labelled the list "sad."

Speaking to Digital Spy about 1Xtra's list, Example said: "People need to use their words carefully when they announce these lists. I think it's offensive to the black music community for whoever chose that word to say 'black and urban music'. Urban music doesn't have a skin colour as far as I'm concerned. When you say 'black music' you're just asking for trouble putting Ed as the face there."

However, he reserved praise for "hustler" Sheeran, "I think in terms of the urban world Ed is very influential because every grime artist and rapper has wanted to work with him over the last few years. He is a decent rapper and he's a good singer but he also has a good hustle, you know he hustles like a lot of these people.

"He puts out mixtapes, he goes on the road, he does gigs for free, which people don't do in other genres as much as they do in the grime and rap world, so I do think that he's very influential and I do think he's very powerful."

1Xtra's Power List top 20:

1. Ed Sheeran
2. Disclosure
3. Tinie Tempah
4. Sam Smith
5. Rudimental
6. Emeli Sande
7. Naughty Boy
8. Katy B
9. Krept & Konan
10. Fuse ODG
11. Boy Better Know
12. Rita Ora
13. Lethal Bizzle
14. DJ Fresh
15. Jessie J
16. Wiley
17. Giggs
18. Laura Mvula
19. Wretch 32
20. Dizzee Rascal

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